Back in Alberta.. for now.

So I’ve been back in Alberta for just over a week now and it’s been really hard in some ways and in others ways it’s been kinda nice.

I suppose I’ll start off with the good stuff because that’s less complicated to explain. Basically it’s been nice to see all my friends in the Athabasca area again and it’s been nice to be able to sleep in also. That’s about it. Don’t get me wrong, I really think the town I currently live in is beautiful and quaint, but I’m so just ready for a change in so many ways.

Which brings me to the hard stuff.

Since I’ve been back I’ve had to deal with some  issues including getting a cold (again) and some emergency dental work. I somehow managed to break my tooth on a piece of bread with cream cheese on it, and it wasn’t even toasted! I have to go to a specialist in Edmonton in two weeks to get it totally repaired so until then I’m basically on a soft food/liquid diet so I don’t damage it more. The cold doesn’t help either because my head hurts from the blocked sinuses and from the tooth ache. 😦 Just my luck I suppose. It’s not all bad though.. at least the “I can’t really eat anything solid” diet will be good for fitting into my bridesmaid’s dress and actually being able to breathe 😛

On the work related side, I’ve still been trying hard to connect and make my way to Vancouver as soon as possible. It’s been really hard though because being back in the small town with nothing to do and nowhere to go, I feel unproductive because I end up sitting at my dinning room table in my PJ’s most days while trying to do the work. At least when I was in the city I could take my laptop and head to one of the many local coffee shops and get some work done there. That was nice because it demanded that I get up and get dressed. Here, most days I don’t really want to unless I have something specific to do because I have nowhere to go and just sit to get things done, other than my dinning room table. It’s hard to keep focused when other things are so distracting and I don’t have a Starbucks of a Blenz by my side 😛  I know I have to get it all done and keep applying and tweaking my resume and my cover letters to help land me the best job possible, but it has also been hard to focus with the head cold. I hate being sick 😦 Bottom line is I’m trying super hard to get to where I want to be though and even if I don’t feel as productive as I did in Vancouver,Ii know I’m not twiddling my thumbs either. 🙂

The good news is that even tough I haven’t landed a permanent paid position, I’ve been given the opportunity to start doing some volunteer/freelance work for the Vancouver Weekly. I know it’s not all paid, but the nice part is I can do things like album/movie/book reviews remotely while I’m still in Alberta, and it gets my name out there in the area of journalism that I really enjoy. Writing for them means I have the chance to be published in Vancouver and have people start to read and recognize my work. It’s something small but it’s still something and the guys who run it seem really cool so I’m pretty excited ! 🙂

Putting myself out there in terms of writing isn’t the only thing I’m trying to do right now. I’ve been back on the online dating sites in hopes of potentially meeting someone who I can connect with in Vancouver before I move. This way I can try to make new friends and meet new people and maybe I’ll get a connection or a spark along the way. Who knows, right? But it does feel nice to be letting the universe know I’m open.

I guess that wraps things up. I just have to keep reminding myself that I’m only back in Alberta.. for now. 🙂

Using music to express yourself

 

This is a video blog post about how people use music to express themselves and how they are feeling at any given point in time. Different moods or emotions trigger different kinds of songs and types of music that people choose to listen to. As Matt Miller puts it, music is a form of art and it’s all about connection with others.

Hunter City Madness

Originally posted at (SLR-GIRL) on November 6, 2009.

Wearing a black and lime green George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelics (P-Funk) “Funkadelic” t-shirt with jeans and black Airwalk sneakers, Justin Gow is a far cry from his early days performing covers at his grade seven talent show.

In the midst of going to school at Algonquin College for Journalism and going in and out of Montreal for recording sessions, Gow took some time to sit down with me and talk about his life as a musician, fronting his southern metal/rock/hardcore band, Hunter City Madness.

During his 1st performance at the Stephen Leacock Public School talent show, and not feeling so confident in his abilities at the time, Gow found himself having to perform all alone up on stage for the first time ever.

“There have been plenty of times that I’ve been nervous, but i was really nervous then,” said Gow, 21. “My music teacher Mr. Powers basically convinced me to do it cause I wasn’t going to, but I did anyways. I played Green Day’s ‘Time of Your Life’. I messed up and forgot words, chords, the tune at one point, a bridge… but looking back it was a good decision to go on.”

Gow has no problem playing such easy songs as ‘Time of Your Life’ now-a-days. Quoting Every Time I Die as one of his favourite bands because they are “crazy, dirty, funny, shitty dudes,”  it’s no surprise that Justin has moved on to bigger and better things, playing clubs and venues in Both Ottawa and Montreal as often as possible.

“I’m glad I did it then cause otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten any good feedback and wouldn’t have been motivated to keep going and trying to get better,” said Gow. “I wouldn’t be where i am now.”

With the release of their first EP, See You In Hell, recorded at Red Dusk Studios in Saint Hysinthe, just outside of Montreal, Gow and Hunter City Madness find themselves in a great place for sure.

Before getting to this point, however, Gow discovered how hard it is to go on tour, especially for the first time, in the summer of 2009.

“We were on tour for 2 weeks making stops in places such as Kingston, Quebec City, Toronto and Windsor, as well as others along the way,” said Gow.

Although the Chubby Pickle in Windsor may have been the biggest venue the band played while on tour, joining two other local bands, one of the most memorable stops on the tour for Gow was the show in Kingston at the Frog Hop along Kingston’s Princess Street.

“We met up with some people who came up form Ottawa to see us play,” said Gow. “After the show, we went and partied in the forest on some land that my buddy owns and camped out for the night.”

Not only did the band members book the tour themselves, they also built up their on little trailer to get from place-to-place.

“We built a shitty trailer made of wood on top of an old trailer and pulled it with my five-person Intrepid,” laughed Gow.

After finishing the recording of their EP,  Hunter City Madness started playing more shows in Ottawa again preparing for a  chance to go on tour for round two, perhaps this time with a little more than a “shitty little trailer.”

Your Favorite Ex

Originally posted at ( SLR-GIRL ) on April 30, 2009

Boston, Massachusetts, USA – home of the Red Sox and Fenway Park, Faneuil Hall, Boston Duck Tours, the best canolies that I have ever had…and local band Your Favorite Ex!

Currently all calling Boston home, Your Favorite Ex is a rock/pop-punk outlet featuring Chris Mitchell on vocals and guitar, Anthony Sharamitaro on guitar, Jay Donovan on bass, and Leo Teran drums. Reminiscent of Brand New or the Spill Canvas with a sound that can only be described as emotionally connected and cohesively well versed, it’s hard to imagine that YFX have only been a complete band for less than a month! Already with a page and music on MTV.com’s Soundtrack, working their way up the charts, YFX is for sure on the right path to where they want to be, at the top of everyone’s playlists!

Despite the band’s young age as a cohesive unit, it’s members are no stranger’s to music. Originally handed down a guitar from his father, Chris started signing to songs on the radio in his teens years and eventually taught himself to play his guitar and began to put two and two together, creating the talent that he is today. Anthony on the other hand, didn’t even know what a guitar was until he saw Tom DeLonge playing on the music video for All the Small Things by Blink 182, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting to where he is now.

“When I was thirteen, I remember flipping through the channel’s on TV and landing on MTV, only to find something that would eventually kickoff a path to my future: Blink 182 dancing around in their All the Small Things video,” said Sharamitaro

The other two members of the band, and most recent additions, follow along the same path. Jay, who is currently enrolled at Northeastern University in Boston, was quick to pick up bass some guitar and was eager to join the band. Teran,as Sharamitaro puts it “always had a passion for music (even when he was young) and began his musical intake as a multi-instrumentalist, but he always had a bigger passion for drums.”

Moving from his hometown of Miami, Fl. to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, it’s no wonder that Teran found his way into a band on the up and up.

All members of YFX see themselves going far in this industry ultimately plan on making a go of YFX as their careers. Nothing is ever set in stone, but with a highly fan-anticipated release of their EP in August 2009, the band is off to a great start! As an anonymous fan once put it, “[These] guys are the next generation of music of this generation’s music – YFX IS this {music} industry’s future.”

Hopefully YFX can give their fans, new and old, the impression of happiness that the band wants to impress upon it’s listeners on a regular basis. As far as fans are concerned, the greatest moments that the band has had over the past year are all about the fans, especially signing autographs.

“I mean, it’s sounds so cheesy, but all of the people who come up to us and ask for them are 100% dead serious. Being able to hook onto well-known venues in the short time we’ve been a band… it’s just such a great feeling to know we’re providing a form of entertainment in musical form that is actually being enjoyed. It makes us smile and want to keep making music forever,” said Sharamitaro.

Note to all blog readers: please check these guys out, you won’t be disappointed!!

Best make-out songs

It’s no surprise that there is a connection between what goes on between the eardrums and what goes on between the sheets.  We all know that the right sounds can really set the mood for the rest of the night. There are certain songs that everyone has on their ‘getting lucky’ playlist and it’s unlikely that anyone but those who are listening to it get to find out what those songs are. For a change of pace, here are a few of the songs that people in Ottawa might have on their ‘making-out’ playlist.

  • Kings of Leon – Sex on fire: Everywhere you look these days celebrities are showing up at Kings of Leon concerts and are always getting caught making out to their songs. On more than one occasion Gossip Girl and Twilight couples (GG: Ed Westwick and Jessica Szohr and T: Kristen Stweart and Robert Pattison) have been caught at a show in the throws of a passionate kiss or two. According to socialitelife.com, other celebrities have included Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes, Orlando Bloom and Justine Timberlake, who celebrated his 30th birthday at a show last year. This is definitely a bandwagon upon which you want to jump.

    These two were listening to John Mayer's Your Body is a Wonderland.

  • The Beatles – I want to hold your hand: It’s a classic. You can’t go wrong with The Beatles. A popular song in it’s own right, possibly made even more popular still by  2007’s full length film Across the Universe which was based on the songs by The Beatles. This adaptation lends a new perspective to the classic through the vocal stylings of T.V. Caprio who Played Prudence, a young lesbian on a path to self-discovery in the film. This take on the classic sheds new light on the lyrics that are so simple and straight to the point. Lyrics like “…And please, say to me/You’ll let me hold your hand/I’ll let me hold your hand/I wanna hold your hand/And when I touch you I feel happy Inside/It’s such a feeling that my love/I can’t hide..” When you listen to this song you won’t want to hide your feelings either.
  • The Spill Canvas – Connect the dots: It’s a song about taking care of the person you care about the most and making them feel special.. inside and out. The lyrics speak for themselves. “If your feet hurt from walking too much/then I will tend to them, with a velvet touch./If your lungs just don’t want to work today/then I’ll perform a mouth to mouth until you’re okay./Don’t you just love the feeling of my fingertips,circling your lips/Don’t you just love the desire taking hold of you, I can tell you do./I know all your favorite spots,and tonight we will connect the dots.” Honestly, you couldn’t ask for better lyrics to get your grove on to, now could you?
  • John Mayer – Your body is a wonderland: Soulful, sensual, and pleasing to the eye, it’s no surprise that John Mayer’s voice is just as attention grabbing. This song is playful and catchy and it’s a heartfelt love song. How can you not want to lock lips with your lover and never let go when John Mayer is saying your body is a place of wonder and to be discovered. This song makes you want to take every inch of each other in and discover all the ins and outs of the other person and find out what makes them tick. With sultry lyrics and a sexy voice, I dare you not to give into the song and all you desires.
  • Hedley – Sweater Song: This song is all about deep feelings for another person and how badly you wish they were near you all the time, even though a lot of time is spent apart. It’s about a lover leaving for a prolonged period of time and how the keep each other close, the lovers exchange a t-shirt and a sweater to remember each other. When the time apart comes to an end, the lovers reunite and can’t wait to get their hands on the other person, forget the tee and sweater and just ravish each other. If this song doesn’t get you in the mood to take your partner in your arms and never let go, then nothing will.

These are of course just a few songs that seem to pop up on many people’s make-out song’s list. Everybody has their own tastes and turn-ons but maybe these will get you started and hopefully your own songs can help you finish what you started.